Best of the West College Football Top 25: La’Vontae Shenault reportedly leaving CU Buffs. Will Brenden Rice, Ashaad Clayton join him?

Fare thee well, La’Vontae Shenault.

The little brother of former CU star Laviska Shenault has entered the transfer portal, according to 247Sports.com’s transfer database. That would mesh with what Buffs coach Karl Dorrell said after this past Saturday’s 20-17 win over Washington, noting that the redshirt freshman wide receiver was “not currently in the program right now.”

Which brings us back to the elephant in the room when it comes to the Buffs as they march into a bowl-less winter: How many of Shenault’s former teammates will be joining him out the door over the next few weeks?

The biggest name to keep an eye on might be Sheanult’s old running mate, wideout Brenden Rice. The son of NFL legend Jerry Rice got hurt in the first half against the Huskies and sat out the second half. Could Senior Day 2021 have been Rice’s final home game in CU gold as well?

“It’s not a major injury,” Dorrell said after the game when asked about his freshman receiver. “We thought that maybe he could come back in and play, but it was starting to stiffen up on him, so we decided to hold him out. He’s got a chance (to go at Utah on Friday).”

The 6-foot-2 Rice was a four-star recruit out of Chandler, Ariz., and one of the bigger names in the Buffs’ ballyhooed 2020 recruiting class. He entertained offers from at least 21 FBS programs, including Michigan, Oregon, USC, UCLA, Utah and Wisconsin, before casting his lot with CU.

Rice was one of four 4-star recruits, as ranked by 247Sports.com, twho highlighted the ’20 haul, along with tailback Ashaad Clayton, defensive back Christian Gonzalez and defensive end Jason Harris.

Harris entered the portal last December and landed at Arizona. Clayton hasn’t carried the ball since the Buffs’ Pac-12 opener at Arizona State on Sept. 25 and has 27 totes, averaging 4.3 yards per rush, over the last two seasons.

The younger Shenault, meanwhile, has been star-crossed in Boulder for most of the past 18 months.

The 6-foot-2 Texan had been suspended three times since Dorrell took over the program in late February 2020. Over the Buffs’ first 10 games, he appeared in three and was suspended for seven, catching six balls for 60 yards. Over the last two seasons, he racked up 253 receiving yards on 23 receptions.

And while he was the first skill player of significance to leave the Buffs before the end of the calendar year, you get the feeling he probably won’t be the last.

On the plus side for Dorrell and company, CU finished out its home slate with three straight wins (Arizona, Oregon State, Washington) and posted a 4-2 record at Folsom Field, which is the most home wins for a Buffs team since the Pac-12 South champs went 6-0 at home in 2016.

The Washington win also moved CU up from 19th to 17th in the latest Denver Post Best of the West Top 25 College Football Poll.

Among Front Range programs, the CSU Rams slipped from 21st to 22nd after suffering their fifth consecutive loss this past weekend at Hawaii, while bowl-bound Air Force (8-3) moved up from seventh to sixth and Wyoming (6-5), a 44-17 winner at Utah State, went from 15th to 14th.

The Post’s Best of the West College Football poll each Monday ranks the top 25 FBS programs from the Front Range to the Pacific Ocean, as culled from the Pac-12, the Mountain West and BYU.

Post columnist Sean Keeler (@SeanKeeler), Post deputy sports editor Matt Schubert (@MattDSchubert) and Post reporter Kyle Fredrickson (@KyleFredrickson) vote on the top 25.

The rest of the latest rankings follow, with in-state teams listed in bold:

THE DENVER POST BEST OF THE WEST TOP 25 POLL — NOV. 22

SchoolPreviousUp next
1. BYU (9-2) *(2)2at USC
2. Oregon (9-2) *(1)1vs. Oregon State
3. Utah (8-3)3vs. Colorado, Fri.
4. San Diego State (10-1)5vs. Boise State, Fri.
5. Fresno State (8-3)6at San Jose State, Thu.
6. Air Force (8-3)7vs. UNLV, Fri.
▲7. Oregon State (7-4)12at Oregon
8. Boise State (7-4)9at San Diego State, Fri.
9. UCLA (7-4)11vs. California
10. Arizona State (7-4)8vs. Arizona
11. UCLA (6-4)
13at USC
12. Nevada (7-4)10at Colorado State
▼13. Utah State (8-3)4at New Mexico, Fri.
14. Wyoming (6-5)14vs. Hawaii
15. California (4-6)16at UCLA
16. USC (4-6)14vs. BYU
17. Colorado (4-7)19at Utah, Fri.
18. San Jose State (5-6)18vs. Fresno State, Thu.
19. Washington (4-7)
17vs. Washington State, Fri.
20. Stanford (3-8)20vs. Notre Dame
21. Hawaii (5-7)25at Wyoming
22. Colorado State (3-8)
21vs. Nevada
23. UNLV (2-9)
23at Air Force, Fri.
24. Arizona (1-10)22at Arizona State
25. New Mexico (3-8)24vs. Utah State, Fri.

*First-place votes in parenthesis

▲= Biggest climb of the week
▼= Biggest drop of the week
The next Best of the West poll will post Monday, Nov. 29.

Source: Read Full Article